Team Dynamics Blueprint – Me and my manager
This past Christmas I received a big box of chocolates and a lovely card from a former client of ours who had decided to retire effective at the end of the year. In the card, Charlie thanked us for providing the tools that allowed him to spend eight happy and productive years of employment.
We met Charlie when his boss (Max) asked us to work with him as he was not “fitting in” with the people at work, yet his technical abilities and business experience were a great asset to the bank they were both working for. In addition, during the interview process, Max and Charlie felt as if they had known each other for a long time and were happy to realize they shared a common management style
Charlie decided to participate in the Team Dynamics Blueprint since it provided quick reference information and practical tips and techniques for motivating, guiding, and communicating with his team members, boss, and peers.
The Blueprint report Charlie received was organized into four sections:
Perceptual Style and Preference for Interaction Quick Reference Chart
Team Perceptual Style Interaction Highlights – an analysis of the unique combination of Perceptual Styles represented by your team members and the impacts of those style differences on interactions within the team.
Communication Tips – skill and expectation highlights with practical techniques for effective communication with each of your team members based on their Perceptual Style and written from the perspective of your Perceptual Style.
Preference for Interaction Impacts – insights regarding how your Preferences for Interaction influence your management actions with your team and how their Preferences for Interaction influence their reactions to problem-solving and change
In this blog, I’d like to highlight the information presented in the Perceptual Style and Preference for Interaction Quick Reference Chart, specifically for the relationship between Charlie and Max.
The report was spot on in various areas of the relationship between Max and Charlie. Max saw Charlie as being reluctant to act and implement solutions. At the same time, Charlie felt Max’s demands for measurable results were premature because there wasn’t sufficient detail or context. More often than not, Charlie would end up giving in to Max’s demands and when a problem occurred, Charlie would take the blame because, in his mind, he should not have agreed with Max.
Charlie was raised to respect his elders and people in authority unconditionally and found it hard to stand up to Max. Lucky for both of them, when they saw the result of the Team Dynamics Blueprint, they decided to give each other a little room to be successful in their own way.
While Max still pushed Charlie, Charlie understood that his job was to balance and support Max (and their mutual employer); therefore, having a fact-based discussion of their differences of opinion would yield the appropriate answer for all concerned. It wasn’t easy at the beginning, but over the first year, they both learned how to deal with each other without thinking that the other was either pushy, lazy, dumb, or unjust.
Max moved on a couple of years ago, and Charlie was promoted in his place. Understanding that he did not have the Operational skills that Max had, Charlie relied on their old discussions to apply as much as he naturally could from Max’s style and to delegate some of the work to subordinates who did have the requisite skills. That approach was vital to his success.
And so, …. Thank you for the chocolates, Charlie.
An excerpt from the actual report follows:
Working With Max (Your Manager)
You and Max have the same Perceptual Style, so you will experience all the connections and challenges of sharing that style.
You will relate easily and without needing a lot of explanation. Your interactions will have a strong content focus because you won’t need to sort through stylistic differences.
The most significant source of disconnect between you and Max will be triggered by the differences in your highest-ranked Preference for Interaction (PFI). Max’s strong Operations preference will trump your strong Transactions preference.
He will be focused on what needs to be done, and you may still be in information exchange mode. He will see you as being reluctant to take action and implement solutions. You will feel his demands for measurable results are premature because you don’t have sufficient detail or context. You will find yourself compromising to make Max happy.
It’s possible for there to be situations where your strong Transactions might overshadow Max’s strong Operations, but because Max is your supervisor, it will not be frequent unless he consciously defers to your Transaction-based approach.
Because you and Max share Resources as your least preferred PFI, the same style disconnects about resourcing actions will be few and far between. Your disconnects will be about content, such as your perspectives about a team member’s performance.
The key to mitigating disconnects between you is awareness of your PFI differences.
Being aware that Max prefers Operations allows you to recognize disconnects as they evolve and acknowledge his preference for how things should be done while providing rationale and context about your solution ideas.
In that way, the two of you can decide the best course of action where you both feel respected for your opinion and recognized for your contribution and role.
As you become practiced in sharing your rationale and context, you will find Max to be open to new information and willing to adjust his direction based on a contextual understanding (an Adjustments strength).
Imagine the success your team will achieve with effective communication, team members matched to tasks at hand based on their strengths, and team commitment to success.
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About Ricardo Vega
Ricardo Vega is the Director of Operations at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd. and a certified Perceptual Style Guide. He has over 40 years of experience in technology, product and project delivery, disaster recovery, and team coaching. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs and teams with Product Planning & Delivery, Team Building, and Change Administration. For more information, visit https://www.YourTalentAdvantage.com.
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